Does anyone find Tyson vs. Holyfield I very overrated?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by William Walker, Jul 28, 2020.


  1. ecto55

    ecto55 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Nicely put. In fact, there's a little underground theory I've heard about fighters never really being the same after a long stint inside...the causes may be that the sheer decrease in activity output can't be remedied, or the sustained lack of vitamin D does them in. I knows there's a bunch of counter examples, but these are usually pure punchers...like eg. Charlie Green.

    Alternatively, it could a social thing - lock a guy up for a couple of years and sustained dedication to a sport doesn't look so appealing when there is women, partying and fun to catch up on. Whatever the mechanism, especially among the lower weights, a prison stretch usually mucks a fighter up.

    Interestingly, I've also observed that for high-quality fighters, late-night door-work also seems to muck them up...again whether its the exposure to partying, the late nights or diminished vitamin D I know not. Much to be said for the B.Hopkins / M.Haglar / R.Marciano monastic lifestyle if you're a fighter though.
     
  2. ecto55

    ecto55 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    ...and no, the Holyfield - Tyson I fight was a big event that bettered its exceptions...which from memory were that it'd be a blowout by Tyson of an aged, possibly not well Holyfield.

    As well as the drama of the unexpected, technically it showed that not only could Tyson be beaten by a big, mobile guy (Douglas) but even by a small guy walking into / pushing back the maelstrom. I know I didn't expect that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
  3. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Holy clearly had a resurgence going into this fight, he was not the shell he had been against Bowe a year earlier. But he was still past his prime.

    It's a bit harder still to know just how much Tyson had lost. He had started to looked convincing again, then got beat also in the rematch where he was in top shape, then was away for two years and was clearly past it when he came back.

    The fight lost much on my first rewatch, as I remember. The drama and the unlikely tactics Holy used was a big part of the whole thing.
     
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  4. Wass1985

    Wass1985 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Was it really a resurgence though or just that Holyfield stylistically was Tyson's kryptonite?

    Of course the mental aspect in fights is massive so the thought of facing Tyson may have relit his fire.
     
  5. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Against Bowe in 95 there clearly was something wrong with him. He was gasping for air after a couple of rounds. Bowe of 92 would have had that Holy out by the second or third round.

    Against Tyson he looked to have regained much of his former endurance. He looked like an aged version of his prime self, but not ill as he did against Bowe.
     
  6. RulesMakeItInteresting

    RulesMakeItInteresting Boxing Addict Full Member

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    This is the hard question for me, and probably for some other people. It's tough to say.

    I seem to remember (I could be wrong) that Liston came out of prison a total dynamo, so I'm not sure jail changes people for the worse as a rule. My problem with the theory is that Mike struggled with Ruddock twice, where Lewis knocked the crap out of him like he was nothing. To me, the Iron Mike who fought in the 80s would have run all over Ruddock...he wouldn't have lasted a round. So, even before prison I think Mike slipped a bit. Instead of post-prison, we could say post-Douglas (some would say post-Spinks, but I'm not sure he changed that much after his peak performance).
     
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  7. dinovelvet

    dinovelvet Antifanboi Full Member

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    Tyson looked good against Lou and Golota. The opponents made him look good. .Frank was done and never fought again and Seldon was Seldon.
     
  8. Wass1985

    Wass1985 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Bruno was done because Tyson finished his career.
     
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  9. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    "Struggled"? He hardly won a round in the first fight and was badly beat up in the second even though he landed a fair number himself. And hat he wouldn't last a round against Tyson in the 80's... Smith lasted 12 with similar tactics. Most of Tyson's opponents lasted more than one round and few of them were as durable as Ruddock.

    Yes, Lewis KO'd Ruddock in one, but the kind of defence Ruddock used against Tyson wasn't very effective against Lewis's rangy style with overhand rights. Also hard to know how much those beat downs by Tyson had taken out of Ruddock.

    Several of Tyson's opponents were dispatched quicker afterwards by other fighters. For example, soon after going the distance with Tyson, Smith was KO'd by - you guessed it - Ruddock.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
  10. RulesMakeItInteresting

    RulesMakeItInteresting Boxing Addict Full Member

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    I see what you mean about Ruddock, but (unless memory serves me incorrectly), Mike got rocked really hard by Ruddock on several occasions, spread out over two fights. I still think Iron Mike wouldn't have had to work even half as hard against him in the 80s. Ruddock would have been steamrolled over by prime Mike quicker than RR vs. Lewis. Just my opinion.

    Very valid point about Lewis' defense, too. And the Smith mention is also relevant.

    Didn't Ruddock kick the bejesus out of Dokes when Dokes was still considered a legitimate contender?
     
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  11. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Not so much in the first. He started to open up in the 5th and the 6th and might have won the 5th with some good shots, but Mike quickly got the better of the trading and stopped Ruddock in the 6th. I think Tyson looked sharp in that fight.

    In the rematch Ruddock definitely had more luck and landed a good number of bombs on Tyson. Other fighters would have been stopped, but Mike didn't really seem hurt even. While he looked a bit flat in this one (Ruddock was awkward, though, with his hook/uppercuts from weird angles and his holding) those that say Tyson couldn't face adversity should rewatch this. Just did and was impressed by how Tyson came back nearly every time Ruddock started to get some momentum going with hard shots.


    Yes, he looked quite formidable going into the first fight.
     
  12. Saintpat

    Saintpat Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Lewis was punching down and just better stylistically matched for Ruddock.

    This mythical 1980s Tyson who would have disposed of Razor in one round — is that the one who went the distance with Bonecrusher and Mitch Green and nearly did so with Jose Ribalta? The one who needed five rounds to get Frank Bruno out of there when the post-prison version took just three?

    Styles make fights. And Tyson was never some nuclear weapon who was a guaranteed first-round KO winner against any and all comers. Ruddock was a big, strong, durable guy who Tyson, with his style and stature, had to chop down. That would have always been the case.
     
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  13. Saintpat

    Saintpat Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Sonny Liston, Dwight Qawi, Bernard Hopkins and others seemed to have come out and made themselves better. It’s not prison — it’s how you handle it.
     
  14. RulesMakeItInteresting

    RulesMakeItInteresting Boxing Addict Full Member

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    All respect, but if styles make fights, Bonecrusher hugged through nearly all of his fight with Mike, while Ruddock took way more chances (in pretty much all his fights). And Green was an almost completely different fighter stylistically from Ruddock.

    I could be wrong.
     
  15. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    In the first Ruddock mostly hugged and was promptly put away when he decided to actually fight.

    In the second he put in a much better showing (and/or Mike a worse). Credit to him that he felt he could improve on his performance, and did, despite being dominated first time around. Could be that Mike thought he'd be even easier in the rematch, not the other way around certainly, and didn't take the fight as seriously as he should.

    It should be said, though, that while Smith threw typical straight punches that Mike saw coming a mile away and easily got under, Ruddock tried to time him with that sneaky but very explosive uppercut/hook when he was coming in low.

    At the end of the day, Ruddock quite likely put in the performance of his career in the rematch against Tyson on what seemed a bit of an off night for Tyson and he still got beat pretty bad. Look what happened to Lewis and Wlad when that happened to them against big, hard punching guys.

    Due to this narrative of Tyson's decline every fight that he wasn't dominating every second is seen as proving the decline, when Ruddock really didn't give him more trouble than Tucker did.

    An almost 240 lbs durable monster puncher that actually had boxing skills (that he kind of neglected in favour of his power) giving you a bit of trouble at times on a night that he's really on, isn't anything strange really.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020